Does Venice Smell Bad? Is It Still Worth Going?

Italy is home to some of the oldest towns that are rich in history and attract many visitors. Among the cities that are tourist magnets is Venice (or Venezia in Italian). Venice is home to great people, accommodations, food, and cultures visitors enjoy.

Although Venice is a beautiful travel destination, it has a bad reputation. Rumor has it that It is a city that stinks. But is it a smelly town, as they say? Let us find out if it is true or false.

Here’s if Venice smell

Venice does not smell bad. However, the canals that take you to various parts of the city are not clean. Historically, Venice was a smelly town because raw sewage was dumped into the canals and later washed into the sea.


Some situation when Venice tend to smell a little bit

At certain times, as you move around the city, there are some places where you will find it smelly.

The smell does not affect all parts of Venice.

For instance, some narrow canals are extremely green because of pollution, and people will feel a bad odor there.

Another situation where Venice stinks is when there is low tide. Because Venice is comprised of many islands, it is surrounded by the sea, and the waters pass through the canals.

Occasionally, there are high tides that help sweep the water through the canals.

In seasons when the tides are low, the waters are stagnant and carry an unpleasant smell in them.

Hot days may force a stink out of gorgeous Venice.

How it occurs is that the hot sun tends to heat the exposed seabeds that contain waste, leading to a stink coming out of the canals.

Is the water in Venice nasty?

The water in Venice is awful. A big problem Venezia is facing is water pollution. There is no proper way to dispose of the waste from over 260,000 households daily, excluding daily tourists. 90% of the places in Venice dump their waste directly into canals.

Modern buildings have tried to minimize unwanted material by installing septic tanks.

After the tanks are filled with waste, they will still find their way into the water.

When going on a vacation in Venice, you may have to rethink your decision to swim in the canals.

Some canals may be clear enough to see through, but who knows what type of waste is in the water?

What water runs through Venice?

The seawater mixed with sewage water runs through the waterways of Venice.

The drainage systems that carry all sorts of waste dump the waste in the canals that end up in the sea.

Look at it this way. You will use a lot of detergents to clean at home, and the dirt removed from the fabric goes into the drains.

Other wastes drained into the canals include used bathroom water, kitchen water, and human waste.

The reason for dumping waste into the canals is that there is no land people can dig to bury used waste.

Buildings with modern houses have managed to install septic tanks, but the tanks will fill up and still direct the waste into the sea once filled up.

The people of Venice depend on rainwater for their consumption needs, both domestic and commercial.

Around the city, you will find wells and similar structures and water collection tanks for rainwater. They get fresh water from the roof, which is trapped and stored in underground tanks.

The rest of the water not collected and stored in tanks is washed through the streets and directed into the canals. The public urinal is part of the water washed in the rain.

That is one of the reasons you do not want to swim in the Venice waters. However, if you want to swim, there are dedicated areas where you can find clear waters in the sea or pay for hotel services with a swimming pool.

See related: Wearing Backpacks In Italy – Are Your Belongings Safe?


The rumors that spread about Venice stinking are misleading.

The city continues to be congested daily by the people who tour the beautiful islands that makeup Venice. Therefore, the city is a great recommendation if you are looking for a getaway feel on an island.